MaineHealth Operational Excellence Team receives Quality Improvement Leadership Award

May 10, 2017
Michelle Radloff, regional director of operational excellence at Pen Bay Medical Centrer and Waldo County General Hospital, and Erik Frederick, chief operating officer at PBMC and WCGH, with their QC award.

The MaineHealth Operational Excellence Team, a systemwide group of performance improvement professionals, has received the 2017 Quality Improvement Leadership Award from Maine Quality Counts, a nonprofit organization working to transform health and healthcare.

This award recognizes an individual or organization that has introduced innovations, used creativity, and embraced risk-taking in their leadership of demonstrably successful quality improvement initiatives. The award was presented April 5 during the 14th annual QC Conference at the Augusta Civic Center.

Operational Excellence is a program that brings leaders and team members together to engage in work focused on improving safety, quality and patient experience. Beginning with Pen Bay Medical Center in 2013, Operational Excellence has now rolled out at almost every organization across the MaineHealth system.

“I am proud of the work that is being done at Pen Bay Medical Center and Waldo County General Hospital,” said Erik Frederick, regional chief operating officer at Pen Bay Medical Center and Waldo County General Hospital. “Working together internally to find solutions for process improvement is vital for all hospitals, and something we can greatly build upon with a systemwide approach.”

One aspect of the Operational Excellence program is the “Gemba walk” where leaders visit numerous departments, every day, to talk directly with teams about the work being done there. Department personnel collect data on the issues they wish to improve (referred to as key performance indicators or KPIs) and share this information at the Gemba walk.

PBMC celebrates its 1,000th KPI, awarded to the Birth Center for supporting the “Safe Sleep Initiative” for infants. This KPI provided education for colleagues and new families, promoting safety of the newborn’s sleep environment.

As a result of this initiative, the department is developing a policy addressing safe sleep for newborns and will be creating a hospital-based infant safe sleep program. These actions will meet the eligibility requirements for the facility to achieve “Bronze Certification” by the “Cribs for Kids” hospital certification program. This certification is recognized by the National Institutes of Health and the American Academy of Pediatrics— as the national standard for safe sleep of infants.

PMBC also celebrates Operational Excellence’s Most Engaged Clinical Teams — the Cancer Care Center and Waldoboro Family Medicine as well as Most Engaged Support Services Teams — environmental services (Housekeeping) and fiscal services.

Waldo County General Hospital is currently celebrating the full rollout of this groundbreaking initiative. WCGH currently has 58 departments participating and colleagues have completed over 400 improvement initiatives.

“Operational Excellence has shown us that we can solve our problems together using creative and innovative solutions,” said Jordan Peck, PhD, senior director of the MaineHealth Center for Performance Improvement. “The Operational Excellence Team has played an integral role in ensuring that our quality improvement work is fully supported by leaders and team members across our system.”


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